How to encourage positive online behaviour in children

Technology is a central part of most young people’s lives as more children are using technology today than ever before. Digital devices can be utilised in extremely beneficial ways– to express one’s creativity, to communicate with friends, to support learning – unfortunately, it can also have an adverse effect on a child if used negatively. Research from the eSafety Office indicates that one in five young Australians experience cyberbullying. In addition to teaching the 4 Rs of Online Safety – respect, resilience, responsibility and reasoning – there are many practical things that parents can do to combat cyberbullying in the digital age. Below are some ideas on how you can encourage positive online behaviour in your child.

  1. Be proactive

Researchers from the University of Queensland suggest that due to the pervasiveness of technology, parents must demonstrate an interest in their child’s online behaviour. Appropriate monitoring helps to encourage positive online behaviour, but in addition to this, it also lets you know if your child is the victim of any harmful behaviour. As parents, you cannot assume that your child is using technology appropriately – have conversations and ask questions to ensure that responsible and healthy online behaviour is taking place.

  • Set a good example

Your children are paying attention to the example that you set. What behaviour are you exemplifying when it comes to online use? Demonstrating healthy technology use – such as keeping your privacy settings up to date, not spending excessive amounts of time on digital devices, only interacting with people you genuinely know, and having respectful conversations – are good behaviours you should model to your child.

  • Think before you post

One of the best ways to encourage positive online behaviour is to teach your children empathy. In other words, encourage them to think before they post. Ask questions such as: “Is what I’m posting helpful or harmful?” “Am I putting anyone in danger?” “Will this make someone feel negatively about themselves?”

  • Trust your child

Although it is appropriate for you to monitor your child’s online behaviour, ultimately you must also allow them freedom and independence to make the right choices. When you begin to overstep these boundaries and micromanage their lives, the less likely they will be in opening up to you. Show that you trust them, and as they are given more independence, they will grow in their maturity as well.

At Mandurah Baptist College, the wellbeing and development of every student is our mission. Our duty is to provide a positive and safe learning environment where students can thrive. To learn more about MBC book a tour.

Written by imageseven